Second call for papers


19th NSSA International Conference:
Symbolism and Instrumentality in Naming

Organised by Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment and the NSSA

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

20–22 September 2016

Download call here

The Names Society of Southern Africa (NSSA) and the Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment at the University of the Free State cordially invite proposals for the next bi-annual international conference.

Date:  20–22 September 2016
Venue:  Equitas Building, UFS main campus, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Conference page:
Abstract submissions and registrations are done on-line on the conference page
Topic of the conference:  Symbolism and Instrumentality in Naming
Language of the symposium:  English

The naming of objects and the use of names is part of the daily routine of humanity. The study of names can fall within any discipline (for example linguistics, history, geography) and there is a variety of themes within the study of names, naming and naming systems. 

The focus of this conference is on the symbolism and instrumentality in naming. Symbolism, as coined by poet Paul Verlaine in 1885 (French: symboliste) refers to the practice of representing things with symbols. What role does this play in the naming of objects and what instruments are used to name? 

Abstracts (300-500 words) in the following (but not limited to) categories of research:

  • Anthroponyms (i.e. personal names; names in religion; nicknames, etc.)
  • Geographical Names (i.e. toponyms and place names)
  • Names in history
  • Literary onomastics (the use of names in literature)
  • Brand names
  • Politics of naming in a public sphere

Scientific council and paper selection committee:

  • Theodorus du Plessis (RSA): Director, Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment, University of the Free State
  • Adrian Koopman (RSA): University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Bertie Neethling (RSA): University of the Western Cape
  • Eventhough Ndlovu (RSA): Research Fellow, University of the Free State
  • Johan Lubbe (RSA): Research Fellow, University of the Free State
  • Johan Moll (RSA): Research Fellow, University of the Free State
  • Lucie Möller (RSA): Research Fellow, University of the Free State
  • Peter Raper (RSA): Research Fellow, University of the Free State


  • Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa (RSA): Registrar, Durban University of Technology
  • Prof Peter Raper (RSA): Research Fellow and Extraordinary Professor (Linguistics), University of the Free State

Important dates:

  • 1 March 2016 Registrations and abstract submissions open
  • 30 June 2016 Deadline for submission of abstracts
  • 15 July 2016 Early Bird registrations close
  • 14 August 2016 Registrations close

Conference fees (R)
Early Bird (academic):  R 2,250
Early Bird (student):  R 1,000
Standard (academic):  R 2,750
Standard (student):  R 2,000

Conference proceedings
There will be no conference proceedings per se. Authors are invited to submit their papers to Nomina Africa, accredited journal of the Names Society of Southern Africa.

Please contact the organisational committee with any queries:

Description: 19th NSSA International Conference Keywords: NSSA logo

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